BELLARY: Viewing Hampi, the world heritage site and the erstwhile seat of the Vijayanagar Empire, will be a different experience for tourists from now on. They will be taken round the ancient monuments in battery operated vehicles introduced by the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority in an attempt to make the world heritage site free from pollution.
The authority, which wants to ban movement of petrol and diesel vehicles in Hampi in a phased manner, has introduced the eco-friendly cars to ferry tourists from the Gejjala Mantap, near Talwarghatta, to Vijaya Vittala temple, which houses the world famous Stone Chariot and musical pillars.
“Around seven battery operated vehicles, with different seating capacity, have arrived and two more 14-seater are expected shortly. To start with, the existing vehicles have been pressed into service near the Vijaya Vittala temple complex since December 1,” B.M. Halgatti, Commissioner of the authority, told The Hindu.
A sum of Rs. 10 will be collected from each tourist for a ride from Gejjala Mantap and back.
Introduction of the eco-friendly transport was not free from the usual hiccups. On the first day (December 1), autorickshaw drivers in Kamalapur, who bring tourists from Kamalapur, Hampi and Hospet, objected to it stating that it would affect their livelihood.
The movement of these battery operated vehicles was stopped for nearly two hours when the drivers staged dharna near Gejjala Mantap.
After lot of persuasion by the police and other officials, the autorickshaw drivers withdrew their protest.